Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lovely

It took two outings as friends for interesting girl to decide that there was, in fact, a spark.  I wasn't entirely surprised, as I'd felt there was a spark from the very beginning, but I was definitely pleased.  We started officially dating two weeks before my licensing exam, which ensured that we saw very little of each other in the beginning and that I was at my worst and most exhausted whenever we did get together.  Since the exam, which I wrote last Tuesday and Wednesday, we've been doing our best to make up for lost time by seeing each other daily.  It's been lovely.  She's lovely.

There are challenges, as there almost inevitably are.  The biggest one is that she's devoutly Christian, while I most definitely am not.  In the very beginning, I invested a lot of mental energy and angst into trying to figure out whether this difference could be overcome - whether it was even worth overcoming.  I wanted to know with some kind of certainty that the risk I was taking in opening up myself up to her would pay off.  But who the hell knows?  Who can say, in the early stages, what will or will not turn into something amazing?  So here I am, taking the risk, heart open.

Anyone remember what my word was for 2014?

Possibility.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Calm

Until recently, I was anything but.  I would wake in the middle of the night, heart racing, trying to remember the differential for Sweet's syndrome or whether Staph aureus or Staph epidermidis was the most common organism to cause post-valve replacement endocarditis.  I would worry incessantly about my upcoming licensing exam, paralyzed by the fear that I could fail and be forced to repeat all of this next year.

And then, suddenly, the fear went away.  The information that I had reviewed multiple times finally started to stick in my seemingly knowledge-resistant brain.  My performance on practice questions went from terrifyingly bad to acceptable to pretty damn good, if I may say so myself.  And I started to feel human again.

I don't know how long this will last.  I have only 16 days left until my written exam, and I'm sure that the anxiety and doubt will rear their ugly heads again before this is through*.  But for now, it's nice to enjoy a moment of calm in the middle of the storm.

*Not to mention that I have an oral exam in May.  Happy happy joy joy!

---

In other news...Three days after getting the message from interesting girl about the "lack of spark", she messaged me again to say that she'd missed hearing from me and to ask if I'd be interested in being friends.  I was, and so we're giving friendship a try.  And it's been really nice.  Until very recently, I've only had straight friends, and I never really saw any necessity or value to having queer friends.  But as my circle of queer friends slowly grows, I'm starting to see the importance of having people in my life who just intrinsically understand this huge part of who I am.  It's awesome.

Friday, March 7, 2014

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting

Fifteen years ago, when I was fresh out of university*, I took a whirlwind trip through Europe with one of my best friends.  Midway through the trip, we ended up in Vienna, where an international modern dance festival was being held.  By that point, we were growing sick of castles and paintings and anything else that was more than a hundred years old, so we decided that a modern dance performance was exactly what we needed.  Faced with a program that was written almost entirely in German, and a knowledge of the language that didn't go far beyond schnitzel and bier, we based our selection on which performance had the cheapest student tickets.

I have no idea what the dance was intended to be about, as the summary was far beyond what I could translate using my tiny phrase book.  And the performance itself didn't provide any additional clarity, as I couldn't deduce a story or a particular message from the scantily clad men who writhed around on the stage.  But what did have meaning for me was the title of the performance:

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.

Five little words that capture the very essence of being human.  Five little words that have stuck with me for over fifteen years.  They come to mind every time I watch a patient get worse despite all of the people who long to see him get better.  They come to mind when I speak to addicts who have fallen off the wagon again, and again, and again.  They come to mind in my own life, when yet another attempt to start a relationship fails. 

As you can probably guess, things with the interesting girl didn't work out.  We had two seemingly lovely dates, with good conversation and lots of laughter, but my request for a third was met with a polite refusal due to a perceived lack of "spark".  It was probably for the best, as there were a number of incompatibilities between us that would've become major issues in time, but it still hurts.  It's still an ending where I had hoped for a beginning.

And it's a reminder of how longing isn't enough to make anything happen.  Of how the universe is indifferent to our desires, no matter how much we may wish and we may want.

*Degree number one of three.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Medical Mondays...On a Monday!

Hello, and welcome to anyone joining me from Medical Mondays!  I'm sitting here reading blogs while eating my morning oatmeal, and I noticed on Your Doctor's Wife that today is Medical Monday.  Actually today!  Not yesterday or two days ago, but today.  I feel so organized and on top of things!

Not that I have an actual blog post for the occasion or anything...maybe next month... But please do keep coming back to the blog, as there will be posts in the future!  And there will be updates on the Great Dating Saga, because (whispering softly so that the universe doesn't view this as an opportunity to smite me) there's a second date tonight. 

Wish me luck.  And Happy Medical Monday.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

More on the Dating Front

Sit down.  Make yourself comfortable.  This may take awhile.

Before I get into the story of my horrible date and expand on why the prospect of meeting someone new is occupying way more mental space than is rational, let me first say that San Francisco was lovely.  The weather was impeccable, the sea lions adorable (and smelly), and Alcatraz creepy.  Minus some small glitches, it was a great week.  Once I'm home and have downloaded all of my photos, I'll try to share some of them with you all*.

Anyway...back to dating.  Over the Christmas holidays, I found myself experiencing prolonged moments of boredom and loneliness, so against my better judgment, I returned to the online dating site.  Not surprisingly, there were plenty of other bored and/or lonely people on the site, so it didn't take long for me to find someone to meet.  Not someone of quality, of course....someone with very little in common with me and with a number of red flags that should've sent me running screaming in the opposite direction.  But they didn't.  And so the universe rewarded my lack of judgment with literally the worst date I've ever been on.  (In case you needed reminding, taking over the number one spot in my dating world is a major challenge.)

In order to understand why this was the worst date ever, you'll need a bit of back story.  See...ever since I was about 16, I've been losing my hair.  Gradual, progressive, unstoppable hair loss.  Basically the female equivalent of male pattern baldness.  There isn't anything medical behind it; it's just one of those little bits of cosmic bad luck that everyone gets stuck with in their life.  For me, it's not surprisingly been a huge blow to my self esteem, and it's particularly annoying when it comes to meeting people online.

So back to the date.  We met later in the evening at a quiet coffee shop, and it took me about seven seconds to realize that I'd made a terrible mistake.  My date was a loud talker, had absolutely nothing even remotely interesting to talk about, and put her gum ON THE TABLE.  (Not her pack of gum.  Her already been chewed gum.)  Not the love of my life, or even someone who exists in the same universe as the love of my life.  But, I'm a polite human being, so I resigned myself to exactly one hour of awkward conversation before I could excuse myself and return home to my pjamas and wine.

About 15 minutes into the date, the conversation was getting really strained, and both of us were desperately searching for something to talk about.  At which point she said to me "Your hair is really thin."

Ummm....yes?  Thanks for pointing that out?  I hadn't noticed?  

I mumbled something about genetics and bad luck, assuming that she'd drop it.  But of course not.  She followed her first comment up with a second one for emphasis:  "No...it's like.....reeeealy thin."
 
One of my friends, who is very experienced with the online dating world, told me afterwards that this was the point where I was allowed to say to hell with being polite and extricate myself from the date.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize this, so I stuck around for another 45 of the most excruciatingly painful minutes of my life.  To add to the experience, the coffee shop had a singer-guitarist who was performing sappy Beatles love songs right next to us.  Think Yesterday and All You Need is Love and In My Life to get a sense of what it was like.  At one point, I was so struck by the absurdity of it all that I started laughing and couldn't stop myself. 

And then I went home and cried.  Because honestly, there are few things that make a person feel as low as being on a date and having the other person point out the thing that you're most insecure about.  Particularly when you know that you have to keep putting yourself out there, thereby leaving yourself vulnerable to exactly the same thing happening again.

Which is where I am now.  I'm in transit from San Francisco, thirteen hours away from my next online date, and there's a huge part of me that wants to back out so that I don't risk a repeat of my last date.  Instead of being excited that I'm meeting someone who seems intelligent and kind and interesting, I'm feeling nauseated and uncertain.

Stupid online dating.  If anyone has any dating mojo to spare, please send some my way.  I could use it right about now.


(One photo of sea lions in love.  Awwwww.)

*I say that now, but I think I'm probably being too optimistic.  Crazy work mode takes over as soon as my plane lands, so I likely won't have time for posting photos.  But I will think of it!  And that counts, right?